Santa Rosa (13-15, 10-6): Last season the Bearcubs struggled to find any consistency until late in the season as Santa Rosa finished the 22-23 season under .500. Santa Rosa started the season off very slow as the Bearcubs lost their first four games of the season before picking up a win over Chabot. Following another win over Shasta, the Bearcubs lost five of their next six games and finished non conference action with a 3-9 record. Santa Rosa looked as if they would not make the post season and possibly struggle in Big 8 Conference play. As conference play started, Santa Rosa appeared to find its mark as the Bearcubs started conference play winning six of their first seven games and put themselves in position of winning the conference title. The second half of conference started and the Bearcubs lost four of their next five games and fell out of the conference championship race. Santa Rosa finished the season winning three of their last four but finished 10-6 in conference. Santa Rosa ended the regular season with a 13-15 record and missed the post season in the 20232-2023 season.
Head Coach: Craig McMillan
2023-2024 outlook: Santa Rosa comes into the new season with some key pieces coming back for the upcoming season. “6-4” Ezekiel Stallworth leads the list of returners back for the Bearcubs after averaging 9.4 points per contest in his freshman season. “6-5” Stephen Ransom (8.9 points), “5-11” Zeke Grund (7.6 points), “5-10” Ben White (2.8 points) and “6-7” Justin Smith (9.6 points) are all back for their sophomore seasons. The Bearcubs have a lot of pieces back from a team that contended for the Big 8 Conference championship and have a year of experience under their belt. Santa Rosa has 35 points coming back from last year and will look to have a standout 23-24 season.
Newcomers: The Bearcubs will add plenty of fire power as Santa Rosa has some very talented transfers coming into the program. “6-2” Chris Holley is coming in from Sacramento State after missing last season due to an ankle injury. Holley is very talented and will give the Bearcubs a playmaker at the point guard position. “6-3” Jackson Smyth is coming in from Southern Oregon after averaging 2.1 points per game in 2021-2022 season. Yaytn Anderson and Yanik Anderson are both coming in from Diablo Valley as Yaytn Anderson averaged 11.1 points at Diablo Valley last season. “6-3” Gavin Vogensen (Cardinal Newman), “6-2” Sam Cline (Cardinal Newman), “6-2” Andrew Pengel (Rancho Cotati) and “6-6” Dave Baraka (Piner) will all look to contribute as freshman for the Bearcubs.
Projection: After a disappointing 22-23 season, it appears that Santa Rosa will be a team that has a chance to improve and have a solid upcoming season. The Bearcubs have a lot of experience and have brought in some key pieces that may push them over the hump. Santa Rosa is a team that we expect to be pretty good and with all the improvements they have made and experience that they have, we feel that this is a team that should contend for the conference championship and make a run in the post season. We project the Bearcubs to finish on top of the Big 8 Conference for the upcoming season .
Season Opener: 11/1 @ Marin
Sacramento (17-11, 10-6): Last season, the Panthers had a solid season as Sacramento City College won 17 games and finished in 3rd place in the Big 8 Conference. The Panthers missed the post season despite being six games over .500 and having a solid record within their conference. In non conference play, Sacramento went 7-5 but the Panthers did not post a win against a team with a winning record. When conference started, the Panthers started off losing their first three games, went 8-2 in their next ten games including wins over Diablo Valley and Cosumnes River to put them in position to make the post season. Sacramento closed out the season winning two of their last three games but a late loss against San Joaquin Delta seemed to put the post season out of reach. Sacramento finished the season with a 17-11 record and missed the post season in the 22-23 season.
Head Coach: Andrew Jones
2023-2024 outlook: Sacramento comes into the new season with a promising outlook. The Panthers lost two key pieces to their puzzle from last season as Khyri Marshall and Samir Khan have both graduated and moved on. Marshall averaged 13.6 points per contest and the Panthers will miss his scoring ability and other intangibles that he brought to the table. Moving forward, the Panthers bring back four key pieces from a year ago and three of those standouts averaged in double figures. Sophomore Andrew Ferrara Jones leads the list of returnees from last season as the wing averaged 14.6 points per game last season. The “6-3” sophomore made 55 three pointers and scored 20 or more points seven times a year ago. “6-5” Leo Wagner returns to the team as well as the sophomore averaged 12.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per contest along with “6-8” sophomore Dajon “Money” Lott which averaged 10.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Both of those players should have break out seasons after having standout seasons for the Panthers in their freshman campaign. The point guard position is also in good hands as “6-0” Drew Fischer returns after having a breakout first season in the state capital. Fischer is an all around guard that stuffs a stat sheet and will be big for the Panthers this upcoming season. Fischer averaged 7.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists and had one of the best assists to turnover ratio in the state a year ago. The Panthers have some key pieces coming back, and Sacramento should be a competitive team within the Big 8 Conference.
Newcomers: The Panthers will look to make the post season this upcoming season. Three players averaged in double ffigures and the Panthers have some freshmen that could put them in a pretty good situation for the upcoming season. “5-11” Sidney Duplessis (Monterey Trail), “6-5” Tiyere Martin (Natomas), “6-3” Traevon Hailey (Grant), “6-5” Donte Irving (Cosumnes Oaks) and “6-5” Dennis Weaver (Jesuit) will look to contribute this season for the Panthers.
Projection: Sacramento has a chance to build off of last seasons success. The Panthers won 17 games and have plenty of key pieces coming back for the 23-24 year. Three scores are back that averaged in double figures and that also equals experience. We feel Sacramento has a chance to finish in the upper half of the conference and challenge for a conference championship with all the pieces that the Panthers have coming back.
Season Opener: 11/2 vs Redwoods
Diablo Valley (18-11, 11-5): After starting the season off with two losses, Diablo Valley went on to win seven of their next ten games and finish non conference action with a 7-5 record. Out of those 12 games in non conference action, all five of their losses were against teams that made the 2023 post season. As conference rolled around, Diablo Valley started off conference action strong with four straight wins and it appeared that the Vikings had hit their stride. Following the hot start, the Vikings lost their next three games and found themselves on their bubble as crunch time came closer. Diablo Valley ended the regular season winning six of their last seven and ended up finishing in 2nd place with an 11-5 record. The Vikings made the post season in Northern California as the 20th seed but suffered a first round loss 84-79 on the road against Las Positas to end their season.
Head Coach: Ervin Anderson
2023-2024 outlook: After posting 17 wins a year ago, the Vikings will look to continue to build off last seasons successful season. Diablo Valley has lost Malik Edwards, Yatyn Anderson, Joaquin Oropeza and Camani Grace from their back court and will also need to replace Osumanu Nuhu in the front court. Edwards was second on the team in scoring and was able to stretch the floor with his three point ability. “6-2” Sophomore and sharp shooting Ben Tellez will lead the list of returners for the Vikings this upcoming season. Tellez averaged 14.8 points and 4.7 rebounds last season, the off guard scored in double figures 25 times and shot 45% from downtown and was 10th in the state in total three pointers made. Vinny Hurtado and Lorenzo Pardo both return to the Vikings as well after seeing limited action a year ago. The Vikings lost some key pieces and it will be intriguing to see who will step up and replace the back court pieces from a year ago.
Newcomers: The Vikings have some scoring to replace but at the end of the day Diablo Valley will look to have anohter standout season. “6-3” DJ Evans is another sophomore listed on the roster and will give the Vikings some sophomore experience. “6-4” Marshawn Smith (Weston Ranch), “6-6” Michael Wood (Las Lomas), “5-11” Mozell Wilson (Ygnacio Valley), “6-8” Cole Webster (LA Premier Prep) 6-7″Tristin Redman (Berkeley), “6-6” Roshawn Aziz (Dublin) and “5-10” Khai Curry (American Canyon) will all look to contribute to the team in the 23-24 season.
Projection: The Vikings lost a lot of pieces from last seasons team that help win eighteen games, and do not return a lot of experience. Ben Tellez returns and has proved that he can score the basketball but it will be interesting to see who will be able to do it consistently. Marshawn Smith and Cole Webster are two solid freshman and the Vikings will be a very competitive team for the upcoming season. We project the Vikings will finish in the upper half of the conference as we predict Diablo Valley will finish in 4th place.
Season Opener: 11/2 @ Canada
Cosumnes River (20-10, 13-3): The Hawks had a standout season last year as Cosumnes River won the Big 8 Conference championship. Cosumnes River ended their 22-23 season with 20 wins and made the post season in the Northern California playoffs. After struggling to find consistency in non conference action which saw the Hawks going 6-6, Cosumnes River found themselves going into conference with plenty of question marks. After a slow start in conference play in their first four games, Cosumnes River the Hawks won eleven of their last twelve conference games and brought home the title and went into the post season as the 11th seed in Northern California. Following a first round win over West Hills Lemoore, the Hawks season ended with a 76-66 loss against a very good College of the Redwoods team.
Head Coach: Jonathan James
2023-2024 outlook: Coming into the new season, will have to replace key players from last seasons team including all state wing Brandon Scott (committed to Western Carolina). The wing led the Hawks in scoring averaging 16.7 points per game and was the only Hawk that averaged in double figures. Cosumnes River lost other key pieces to their front line but return some key components for the upcoming season. Leading the list of returners, is sophomore guard Isaiah Griffin. The “5-11” guard averaged 8.6 points and 2.1 assists per game in his freshman campaign. The athletic guard should have a standout season for the Hawks for the upcoming season. Sharp shooting Karlos Zapeda returns to the back court after averaging 8.3 points per game. The guard made 56 three pointers last season and shot 37% from the floor from downtown and will stretch the floor. “6-9” Montell Shelton returns for his sophomore season and may be one of the biggest kept secrets in Cali Juco hoops. The big should have a break out season for the Hawks. “6-7” Antonio Tecero and “6-1” Juan Rubio will also provide sophomore experience to the Hawks.
Newcomers: The Hawks do have some pieces coming back from their conference championship team and will look to have a standout season. “6-0” David Abdullah (Bryant and Stratten College) is another sophomore piece and should provide some back court depth. “6-5” Craig McMillan (Capital Christian) “6-2” Luca Davis (Grant), “6-3” Elijah Lewis (Vanden), “6-4” Kole Simon (Vista Del Lago) and “6-8” Kene “Brian” Unachukwu (James Logan) will look to contribute this season for the Hawks.
Projection: The Hawks return some key pieces to the back court but the loss of Scott is going to hurt Cosumnes River. Shelton has improved and if he gets enough touches he could be a force in the front court. The Hawks will be fairly competitive and we still have them finishing high up in the conference standings but it will be interesting who will take over that scoring role on a consistent basis. WE project the Hawks will have a solid season and we project them for finishing in 3rd place in the Big 8 Conference.
Season Opener: 11/2 vs Los Medanos
Folsom Lake (8-20, 4-12): After winning 16 games and making a post season appearance in the 2021-2022 season, it was a tough year for the Falcons. After winning their season opener, Folsom Lake lost six of their next seven games and and finished non conference action with a 4-8 record. In conference action, the Falcons lost eleven of their first twelve games and struggled to a 4-12 conference record and a 8th place finish in the Big 8 Conference in the 2022-2023 season.
Head Coach: Bill Benford
2023-2024 outlook: The Falcons come into the new season looking to have a better season than the 2022-2023 campaign. Folsom Lake will look to replace Donovan Cokley and front court stand out and leading scorer Dane Johnson coming into the new season. The departure of Johnson will leave a hole in the front court but the Falcons will return a lot of experience for the upcoming season. “5-10” Te’And Indalecio leads the list of returnees for the Falcons as the guard averaged 10.6 points per game last season. “6-6” Alan Davis is another standout for the Falcons that should have a solid season after averaging 8.9 points a year ago. “6-1” Tyson Hazel (5.1 points), “5-7” Jordan Hess (6.0 points), “6-3” Tariq Ali (4.5 points), “6-7” KeAndre Burns (3.0 points), and “6-0” Anthony Arguelle (2.9 points) also return and will give the Falcons plenty of experience coming into the new season. The Falcons bring back a lot of experience which could be vital to a successful early start coming into the new season.
Newcomers: Folsom Lake will have some solid pieces coming into the new season to add to a very experienced group for the 23-24 season. “6-5” Miko Bear (El Dorado HS), “5-11” Joaquin Battle (Ponderosa HS), “6-5” Cade Petersen (Folsom HS), “6-3” Micah Hobson (Capital Christian HS), and “6-0” Logan Rexford (Vista del Lago HS) are players that are expected to contribute this upcoming season for the Falcons. Folsom Lake added a little bit of size and got some back court pieces to go along with the experience that they have for this seasons team.
Projection: Folsom Lake has a lot of experience coming back for the upcoming season. The loss of Dane Johnson hurts the front court, but the Falcons have 38 points returning from last seasons team that will be beneficial. The Falcons should be an improved team after only winning eight games a year ago. We project the Falcons will be in the lower half of the conference but it wont surprise us if Folsom Lake finishes higher than projected in a tricky Big 8 Conference for the upcoming season. The Falcons are an improved team but will need to show they can beat some of the heavy hitters consisently in conference action to finish in the upper half of conference action.
Season Opener: 11/2 @ Napa Valley
American River (7-20, 6-10): Last season the Beavers struggled to find their way as American River failed to reach the double figure marks in victories last season. American River started the 22-23 season losing their first ten games of their season and went into conference action with a 1-10 mark with their lone victory in non conference coming against Alameda College. When conference play started, the Beavers found some things that worked and started strong in Big 8 action winning 3 of their first 4 conference games. American River then lost their next two games and struggled to find any consistency in the win column the rest of the conference season as the Beavers failed to make the post season and lost thier last five games in conference play and finished with a 7-20 overall record and stumbled to a 6-10 and sixth place finish in the Big 8 Conference.
Head Coach: Mark Giorgi
2023-2024 outlook: The Beavers will look to have an improved 23-24 but do not have a lot of exprience coming back for the upcoming season. American River lost Sam Shields and Chad Scarborough, but will turn to “5-8” Jaden Burgess who averaged 13.5 points per contest in his freshman season. The sophomore made 59 three pointers last season, scored in double figures 17 times and had a season high of 32 points against Merritt last season. The guard is expected to be a standout this upcoming season as he will be a legit scoring threat for the upcoming season. “5-9” Evan Burgess, and “5-11” Alec Dennet who saw limited action are expected to add experience to the back court as well. “6-8” Art Zakharov is another player expected to be back and will bring size to the Beavers after seeing limited action a year ago.
Newcomers: The Beavers will turn to some newcomers as American River looks like a much improved team. “6-4” Nick Graves (Norwich University) is a transfer that will impact the Beavers providing a scoring punch. The wing can shoot it from anywhere and is expected to have a solid season for American River. “6-1” Micah Johnston (Folsom High), “6-1” Ivan Soto (El Camino High), “5-11” Mark Wilson (Sacramento High), “6-4” Sam Herlehy (Placer High), “6-6” Johny Holmes (Oroville High), “6-5” Kobe Bass (Vacaville High) and “6-7” Nio Vuki (Casa Robles High) will all look to help this season for American River.
Projection: American River will be a much improved team for the upcoming season and we expect the Beavers to be fairly competitive. Graves will help out in the back court and the Beavers have more depth and have more size than they usually have. American River has some pieces and should have a better season than a year ago. We project the Beavers to finish in the middle of the pack and could knock off some teams expected to finish higher than them at some point in the 23-24 season.
Season Opener: 11/2 vs Contra Costa
San Joaquin Delta (14-14, 10-6): Last season the Mustangs could not find consistency in the first half of the season after a key injury to Dayton Magana. San Joaquin Delta started the season off 2-2 but the Mustangs hit a rough patch in their schedule and lost six straight games before ending non conference play with two straight wins. Going into conference action, the Mustangs were 4-8 and started conference action strong winning four of their first five games. Delta flirted around the .500 mark and gave themselves a chance to make a push for the post season. After two losses against Sacramento and Cosumnes River, the Mustangs won four straight games and went into their last five games of the season with a 8-3 record in conference. At the end of the season, the Mustangs lost three of their last five games and missed the post season finishing with a 14-14 record, a 10-6 3rd place finish in the Big 8 Conference.
Head Coach: Rich Ressa
2023-2024 outlook: This upcoming season the Mustangs have lost some key pieces from their 14 win team and will look to have a better 23-24 season. Delta will have to replace three players that averaged in double figures including Kendrick Curry. Curry averaged 21.4 points and 9.1 rebounds last season and was one of the best players in Northern California. The Mustangs lost Arvind Sandhu (13.1 points), and Matthew Oli (10.5 points) as well but Delta will return former conference MVP Dayton Magana back to the court after missing last season due to injury. Magana averaged 16.7 points and 4.0 assists and was the conference MVP in 21-22 and will bring a scoring punch back to the Stockton based squad. Delta will bring back “6-6” Dominic Perasso (6.4 points and 5.3 rebounds) and Nick Bell returns to the team after sitting out last season and add experience to the team.
Newcomers: The Mustangs will welcome in a lot of new pieces to the squad for the upcoming season. San Joaquin Delta welcomes in “6-4” Julian Brown who is listed as a sophomore to the team for the upcoming season. “6-2” Jaylen Lee and “6-6” Domonick Victor are two other sophomores that will provide experience for the Mustangs. “6-4” Armanpreet Singh (Bear Creek HS), “6-1” Leon Mills Jr (Edison HS), “6-2” Elijah Malamed (Calaveras HS), “5-10” Connor Arnold (Calaveras HS), “6-2” Lorenzo Leonard (Bear Creek HS), “6-2” Andruw Galindo (Lincoln HS) and “6-0” DJ Asah (Tracy HS) are all listed on the roster for the upcoming season.
Projection: Delta comes into the new season as a team that lost three players that averaged in double figures. It is a lot to replace but not to many teams in the state can say that they return an MVP caliber type player back to their team after sitting out a season. The return of Magana will help tremendously as the guard can score the ball at a high rate and will get his teammates some open looks with his ability to put pressure on the rim on almost every play. The Mustangs will have a very competitive team and we project San Joaquin Delta to finish in the middle of the pack and have them finishing in 4th place for the upcoming 2023-2024 season.
Season Opener: 11/3 vs Gavilan
Modesto (6-22, 3-13): Last season was a very inconsistent season for the Pirates as they struggled to find the win column. After a slow start last season in which the Pirates lost their first two games, Modesto picked up a win against Las Positas but struggled in non conference play after the victory. Modesto went 2-7 in their final part of their non conference schedule and needed a big conference season to make the post season as the Pirates were 3-9 going into conference play. After starting conference play with two losses, Modesto picked up a win against American River but the Pirates lost their next five games and ended the first round of conference play with a 1-7 record. In the 2nd half of conference, the Pirates struggled and went 2-6 but had a really big win against San Joaquin Delta. Modesto ended the season 6-22 and finished 3-13 in conference play. The Pirates missed the post season but will look to have an improved 2023-2024 season.
Head Coach: Mike Girardi
2023-2024 outlook: As the 2023-2024 season approaches, Modesto will have a lot of new faces on their sideline for the upcoming seasson. The Pirates have a lot to replace as replacing Josh Allen wont be an easy task as he was a grreat rebounder and brought a lot of versatility to the program the last two seasons. Modesto also loses Ogun Delaney, Lydell King, Isaac Rodridguez, Carlos Hernandez and Joe Perez from last seasons team. The Pirates do return “6-1” Justice Chase who averaged 9.1 points per contest and also bring back “6-3” Ethan Parker who averaged 7.1 points per game. Modesto has only two players back and will look to have a better season than the year before.
Newcomers: The Pirates will welcome in many newcomers to the program and look to have an improved season. “6-6” Eddie Cotton a transfer from Delta will look to make an impact for Modesto. “6-6” Macarthur Cotton, “5-10” Solomon Mason and Jerome Williams are expected to contribute to the Pirates. Other than those names given a lot is unknown about the Pirates as they did not play in any jamborees to be seen in the fall.
Projection: We really dont know what to expect from the Pirates as we stated above that we have not saw them in person. It really isn’t a true justice to say where they may finish in the upcoming season. What is known is that the Pirates return only two pieces from a year ago and have a lot to replace. The unknown is what is the quality of players coming into the program. It will be interesting to see how the season unfolds for the Pirates but time will tell how Modesto will play in the 2023-2024 upcoming season.
Season Opener: 11/2 @ Chabot
Sierra (11-17, 5-11): Last season the Wolverines started off the season winning two of their first three games but following the decent start, Sierra struggled to find consistency in the win column the rest of the season. Sierra finished non conference action with a 6-6 record but did not have a lot of quality wins so needed to have a good showing in the Big 8 Conference to have a chance at making the post season. After picking up a conference opening win over Modesto, Sierra lost four of their next five games and could not string together that many wins in the 2nd half of conference play. Sierra did pick up wins against Diablo Valley and Folsom Lake but the Wolverines ended the season losing seven of their last eight games and finished conference action with a 5-11 record. Sierra finished the season with a 11-17 record and missed the post season in the 2022-2023 season.
Head Coach: John Fusano
2023-2024 outlook: The Wolverines come into the season with a lot of pieces to replace. Sierra College returns one player from last seasons team moving into the 23-24 season. The Wolverines lost three players that averaged in double figures and will have to look towards newcomers to fill the void. Sierra lost Tamatoa Humbert, Isaiah Duve and Anthony Mendez all to graduation and did not bring back most of their team from a year ago. “6-5” Pedro Leme who averaged 5.4 points per game is the lone player returning for his sophomore season. Sierra wont have a lot of experience coming back and have a lot of new faces as the season approaches.
Newcomers: The Wolverines will welcome in many players to the roster for the upcoming season. “6-3” Nick Stultz, “6-2” Javauan Moore, “6-5” Jackson Taylor, and “6-1” Isaiah Conlan (Tr Canyons) will be sophomores and provide experience to the Wolverines. “6-4” Jose Vazquez (Reno), “6-0” Jackson Lee (Placer), “6-3” Cameron Fraizor (Atwater), “6-4” James Cook (Center), “6-5” Kymani Hodge (Caribbean Islands), “6-2” Arthur Adams (Alaska), “6-4” Andrew Hanks (Vista Del Lago), “6-5” Mo Lattimore (Woodcreek), and “6-2” Mitch Hauxwell- Te Paa (Australia) are all listed on the roster for the upcoming season.
Projection: Sierra comes into the new season with a lot of newcomers coming into the program. The Wolverines only return one player from last seasons team and will have a lot of unanswered questions coming into the new season. Sierra may be a competitive team for the upcoming season but time will tell how well the team will play together for the upcoming season. We project that the Wolverines will finish in the bottom half of the conference for the upcoming season.
Season Opener: 11/3 vs West Valley
2023-2024 Signal The Light Basketball Big 8 Conference Preview
1. Santa Rosa
3. Cosumnes River
4. San Joaquin Delta
5. Diablo Valley
6. American River
7. Folsom Lake
No Number: Modesto